Group says more bike lanes 'better for everybody, not just the cyclists'

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Two dozen bikers pushing for cyclist safety went for a short ride down Main Street's buffered bike lane Saturday afternoon. Organizers said it's the only one in the city, and they'd like more.

"There's some spots that are pretty scary (in downtown Boise), especially parked cars, doors swinging open can be pretty dangerous," said Damien Salerno, a Boise cyclist.

The Ada County Highway District recently proposed turning a car lane and some parking spots into bike lanes on Main and Idaho Streets along with Capitol Boulevard. ACHD says your commute could get more crowded but the downtown roads can handle the traffic with the remaining lanes.

"It's better for everybody, not just the cyclists," said Lisa Brady, board president of the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance. "It keeps people from hitting cyclists, keeps pedestrians away from heavier, moving traffic. It may cause some congestion, but I think people are going to work that out."

Bicyclists say getting through downtown is not only tricky, but it's unsafe.

"On Capitol right now, there isn't a bike lane at all, and it's very dangerous," said Suzanne Taylor, who bikes to work. "You end up riding up on the sidewalk, and it doesn't work out well because you intersperse through traffic and there are pedestrians. It'll be a lot better if there's a bike lane."

Transportation planners say the idea is to make downtown Boise accessible for everyone, and the bikers say adding lanes will make it safer.

ACHD has scheduled an open house for Thursday, 5:30 to 7 p.m., on the second floor of the US Bank Building.